Nearly 40% of adults suffer from a functional gastrointestinal disorder, 40%!! This includes conditions like heartburn, stomach pain, constipation, abdominal distention or bloating, loose stools or diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome; while very common, these conditions are not the normal state for our digestive track. Patients can present with sometimes severe, chronic symptoms, rendering them very debilitated.
Enter your naturopathic doctor.
Naturopathic doctors are perfectly suited to help with these conditions, it’s what we do! This is an area where our medicine really shines. We have many strategies and tools to support and enhance gut health, addressing underlying issues and promoting balance within the digestive system. The gut plays a such an important role in our overall well-being, influencing not only digestion, but immunity, mood, hormones, weight, and more. Managing the gut is the keystone to good health.
Our approach to improving gut health might include:
- Dietary adjustments. Both the foods that you do and don’t choose can have an impact on digestive health. Some may benefit from diet counselling to incorporate more whole foods, fibre, prebiotics, and probiotics; while others may need support with identifying and removing problematic foods and food sensitivities. Ultimately food dictates the gut bacteria, and promoting a diverse and healthy microbiome is crucial for proper digestion and immune function.
- Herbal remedies and supplements to support gut health. In the right cases, herbs work beautifully to stimulate digestion, reduce inflammation, heal the gut lining, balance the microbiome, and alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort. Probiotic supplements, containing beneficial bacteria, can help restore microbial balance in the gut, aiding in conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and promoting overall digestive health.
- Stress management. Stress can significantly impact gut health. Using techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises can help mitigate stress, benefiting gut health in the process.
- Advanced testing. One of the most important principles in naturopathic medicine is addressing the root cause. From the simple to the advanced, naturopathic doctors have access to testing for things including celiac disease, markers for inflammatory bowel disease, comprehensive assessments of the gut microbiome, evaluations of food sensitivities, intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) tests and more. Using testing allows us to tailor treatment plans to the individual patient. Don’t guess, test.
Lastly, naturopathic doctors emphasize the importance of patient education and empowerment. We strive to educate individuals about the interconnection between gut health and overall well-being, empowering them to make informed lifestyle choices that support digestive health.
By addressing the root causes of gut imbalances and focusing on holistic well-being, naturopathic medicine plays a invaluable role in supporting a healthy and thriving digestive system. Don’t suffer this holiday season, let’s get that gut in tip top shape. Call the clinic today at 604-888-8325 to get started.
Dr. Alanna Rinas, ND